Recreational Pacific Halibut Fishery Closing

Taking effect at 11:59 PM tonight, August 4th, 2023, the Pacific Halibut fishery will be closing.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) expects the 2023 California recreational quota to be reached by the end of today, based on the latest catch projections. Pacific Halibut are a different species than the California Halibut which are generally smaller and much more common in areas further South than where the Pacific Halibut resides.

CDFW tracks the progress of the fishery each year to achieve but not exceed the California quota. CDFW field staff at public launch ramps and charter boat landings monitor Pacific halibut catch throughout the season, along with other marine sportfish species. The quota is determined annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

This week, CDFW conferred with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the IPHC and the Pacific Fishery Management Council to review projected catch amounts and determine the closure date. Formal authority to close the fishery resides with NMFS, which took action to close the fishery following consultation with CDFW. CDFW implements changes to the season pursuant to authority found in sections 1.95 and 28.20, Title 14, California Code of Regulations. 

Pacific halibut are a different species than California halibut and occupy a large geographic range from the Aleutian Islands eastward through Alaska to British Columbia and throughout ocean waters of the Pacific Northwest. Along the West Coast, Pacific halibut are commonly found as far south as Point Arena in Mendocino County. California halibut are more common farther south. 

For current information about the Pacific halibut fishery, science or management, please check the following resources: